Garments Against Women

By mute, 2 June 2016
Image: Pocket, 2016, Henriette Heise

Garments Against Women by Anne Boyer, Mute Books (European Edition)

First published by Ahsahta Press, 2015.

ISBN: (paperback) 978-1-906496-38-8 price £14 16 €

104 pages, 148mm x 210mm (A5), black and white with colour covers.

For sale in Europe only. Contact Anagram Books for trade distribution 

See Ahsahta Press for US sales. 

Garments Against Women is a book of mostly lyric prose about the conditions that make literature almost impossible. It holds a life story without a life, a lie spread across low-rent apartment complexes, dreamscapes, and information networks, tangled in chronology, landing in a heap of the future impossible. Available form – like garments and literature – are made of the materials of history, of the hours of women’s and children’s lives, but they are mostly inadequate to the dimension, motion, and irregularity of what they contain. It’s a book about seeking to find the forms in which to think the thoughts necessary to survival, then about seeking to find the forms necessary to survive survival and survival’s requisite thoughts.

Table of Contents

The Animal Model of Inescapable Shock
The Innocent Question
No World but the World
At Least Two Types of People
The Open Book
The Virus Reader
Not Writing
What Is “Not Writing”?
A Woman Shopping
Science Fiction
Twilight Revery
Ma Vie en Bling: A Memoir
Bon Pour Brûler
Garments Against Women

Here Anne Boyer accounts for a form of life – form of life of a woman in this century living in Kansas City apartment complexes or duplexes with names like The Kingman or Colonial Gardens, form of life of a low-rent, cake-baking intellectual parenting a Socratic daughter, form of life of a person whose body refuses to become information or pornography, which are the same. These are the confessions of Anne Boyer, a political thinker who takes notes and invents movements, social and prosodic. Ta gueule, Rousseau.

– Lisa Robertson

Boyer tests these conditions, putting their accidents on the page because others will have to go on doing so. She probes and tests, flinching, letting go and pushing on, up and downward. Made sick by ‘the supreme whateverness of upward moving depths’ – by the ‘unconstrained constraints’, the bullshit choice between happiness or infirmity – she senses what lies between the pages of the closed book (‘another veracity that includes conspiracy, corners, shadows, slantwise, evasion, unsayingness, negation, and under-the-beds?’) With her mind as the deadpan-logical mouse in this laboratory, Boyer tries to invert and hollow out the conditions, to lift the real from its carefully constructed frame.

– Mme Tlank

About the Author

Anne Boyer (b. 1973) is a Kansas City-based poet and essayist and a professor at the Kansas City Art Institute. Her works include The Romance of Happy Workers, My Common Heart and the CLMP award-winning Garments Against Women, which was described in the New York Times as ‘a sad, beautiful, passionate book that registers the political economy of literature and of life itself.’